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Japan’s National Economic Identity and African Development: An Analysis of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development

Japan has emerged in recent years as a leading donor country to African countries. At one level, Japan’s renewed assertiveness in providing foreign aid to Africa is on par with the more active approach by other donor countries. Some might argue that Japan’s motivations to lend capital and technical assistance to African countries are shared by all lending countries. However, I argue that Japan’s official development policy and, in particular, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process, seek to break away from the acceptance of the Washington consensus and to demonstrate Japan’s particular leadership position in the donor community. Rather than to focus on domestic bureaucratic politics to explain Japanese ODA or on the specific targets of foreign aid, this paper seeks to identify the basic features of Japanese national identity that explain its aid policy to Africa. These features will be highlighted through an analysis of the TICAD process. Taken as a whole, the TICAD process represents the Japanese government’s response to perceived inroads by globalization and neoliberal economic ideology. ...
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Research Paper
Volume:
2007/61
Title:
Japan’s National Economic Identity and African Development: An Analysis of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development
Authors:
Howard P. Lehman
Publication date:
October 2007
ISSN Web:
1810-2611
ISBN 13 Web:
9789292300104
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2007
Keywords:
foreign aid, African development, Japanese-African foreign relations
JEL:
F33, F55, O19
Project:
Conference on 'Aid: Principles, Policies and Performance'
Sponsor:
UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges the financial contribution to the conference by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Format:
online
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